What are some applications of radio-tracking technology in endangered species management?
Radio-tracking of animals, no matter the status of the species, allows you to determine home range, movement and migration patterns, and so forth. It can help you determine breeding areas, mating areas, feeding areas, and etc. Information gathered from radio tracking can then be used to make more informed management decisions.
Thus, for endangered species, radio-tracking can be very useful. Data from radio-tracked animals may provide important information about where the animal lives, allowing protection of that area. Knowing where an animal is moving can be combined with other data, such as where poachers frequent, to better monitor and protect populations. In some instances, better understanding population movement patterns can lead to lessening human-wildlife conflicts.
Radio-tracking an animal can also allow veterinarians to regularly check on the animals and provide medical attention if needed. Radio-tracking animals can allow researchers to regularly capture an animal, collect biological samples, and then re-release the animal.
Radio-tracking may also be used when rehabilitated animals are released back into the wild and need to be monitored.
Examples of radio-tracking and conservation applications :
David McDonald radio tracks lions and uses this information to protect them. For example, whenever a lion leaves a protected area, specially chosen and trained locals hope on their mountain bikes with their GPS, cellphone, and a trumpet, and scare the lion back into the protected area.
Burmese pythons are an invasive species devastating native wildlife populations across much of Florida. Researchers put radio-trackers on the pythons during the breeding season. This allowed them to use radio tracked pythons to lead them to more pythons for removal.